Skip to main content

Henry Harleston Fleming papers

Identifier: AMN 1133

Collection Overview

The collection is divided into five series:

Series 1. Biographical Documents contains biographical sketches, awards, and educational materials; essays and his dissertation from Temple University; legal documents holding numerous versions of wills, revocable trusts, investments, mortgage documents, legal correspondence. Documents pertaining to the establishment and operation of the Harleston Assisted Living & Residential Care through Stokes-Fleming, Incorporated are also included. A subseries holds documents and photographs of the Harleston Family; Edwin Gaillard Harleston, Fleming's grandfather; and artist, Edwin Augustus Harleston, Fleming's uncle. Of note is the original marriage certificate of Edwin G. Harleston (known as "Captain") and Louisa "Lassie" Moultrie (15 April 1877). The subgroup also includes documents and photographs regarding Fleming’s mother, Katherine “Kitty” Harleston Fleming; his sister, Edwina St. John Fleming; and a group photograph with members of the Harleston and Mickey families (circa early 20th century). Also, holds materials documenting Fleming's wife, Marie Martin Fleming, with photographs of their children and grandchildren.

Series 2. Professional Career and Affiliations documents Henry Harleston Fleming's career as a school choir director at Burke High School (Charleston, South Carolina), and South Carolina State University; an accompanist and director for several regional music ensembles (The Choraliers Music Club, the Charleston Symphony, the Greater Charleston Choral Society), and The Omega Ensemble for his fraternity chapter of Omega Psi Phi, Incorporated. Also, includes documents and audio cassette tapes from the Annual Choir Director's Organists' Guild Workshops at Hampton University.

Series 3. Fleming's Music Compositions covers Fleming's original musical scores, some published, along with his numerous arrangements (published and unpublished), many with the original sheet music from which the arrangements were derived, arranged alphabetically by song title. Includes Fleming's music notebooks and various notes. Also contains Fleming's scores (words and music), some published, and correspondence with Augsburg Fortress Publishers and other music publishing companies.

Series 4. Published Music Scorebooks and Sheet Music is comprised of commercially published sheet music of various genres (in books and loose sheets) with the bulk ranging in classical, sacred choral, 20th century spirituals, musicals, motion picture and 20th century popular music. The scores are in various music parts and groups for men's voices (various parts); mixed voices; and SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) chorus or choirs. The series also holds sizable scores from composers, George and Ira Gershwin, (including full opera music and text for Porgy and Bess); Rodger and Hammerstein musicals, and R. Nathaniel Dett spirituals. Of note is a signed copy of William Grant Still's "...And They Lynched Him on a Tree," (copyright 1941, and signed by Still on 17 February 1971). Dates indicated for scorebooks and sheet music is the original copyright dates. Due to the age many documents are in Fragile Condition and are indicated as such.

Series 5. Audio-Visual Materials contains sound recordings: 33 1/2 rpm albums; cassette tapes; along with VHS videos, reel-to-reel and cassette tapes recorded by Fleming. *NOTE: The Avery Research Center does not possess the proper technology for reel-to-reel tape playback.


  • Creation: 1877-2007
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930-2000

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on materials except for the two (2) reel-to-reel tape recordings located in Box 19. The Avery Research Center does not possess the proper technology for playback.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Henry Harleston Fleming (1916-2007) was born to Katherine "Kitty" Harleston (the eldest daughter of Edwin Gailliard "Captain" Harleston) and Maithlun N. Fleming, an undertaker, in St. Augustine, Florida. He graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor's degree in Music Education in 1936. Relocating to his mother's home city of Charleston, South Carolina, Fleming became the Music Instructor/Supervisor for Simonton, Archer and Buist Elementary Schools. Drafted by the Army to serve during World War II, Fleming functioned as Music Director of entertainment units on various segments of the Stilwell Road which ran from India through Burma into China (1944-1945).

Upon his military discharge in 1946, Fleming entered the Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining a Master’s degree in Music Education (1947). Upon his return to Charleston, he served as Burke High School's Music Instructor and Choral Director. In 1964, Fleming performed as the Choir Director and Theory Instructor at South Carolina State University. Fleming was later admitted to the Julliard School of Music, and ultimately earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Temple University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in 1976. He retired from South Carolina State in 1981. Fleming and his wife, Marie (Martin Fleming) lived in the Charleston area periodically, eventually establishing the Harleston Assisted Living residential facility in Hollywood, South Carolina in 2001. Recognized by his professional name of "Harl Fleming," he continued to perform in concerts, theatrical productions, and director various musical ensembles.

Henry Harleston Fleming passed in February 2007.


9.81 linear feet (21 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Henry Harleston Fleming (1916-2007), born to Katherine Harleston and Maithlun N. Fleming, in St. Augustine, Florida, was a African-American composer, arranger, professor and director of the choirs at Burke High School, Charleston and South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. A prolific pianist, "Harl Fleming," was an accompanist and director for several regional music ensembles. Fleming and his wife, Marie Martin Fleming lived in the Charleston, South Carolina area periodically, and established the Harleston Assisted Living residential facility in Hollywood, SC in 2001 during the couple's retirement.

The majority of this collection is comprised of sheet music; compositions and arrangements written by Harleston Fleming, commercially published scores in the form of books and sheets, (with the bulk of music in classical, sacred choral, 20th century spirituals, musicals, motion picture music and 20th century popular scores) collected and used in his professional and personal career as a chorus director and pianist. The remainder of the collection holds numerous documents, photographs and audio-visual materials pertaining to legal and financial matters, career, and the Harleston Family, including documents relating to Fleming's grandfather, Edwin Gailliard "Captain" Harleston and uncle and noted artist, Edwin Augustus Harleston.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is divided into five series

Series 1. Biographical Documents

Series 2. Professional Career and Affiliations

Series 3. Musical Compositions and Productions

Series 4. Published Musical Scorebooks and Sheet Music

Series 5. Audio-Visual Materials

Other Finding Aids note

Book: Ball, Edward with Edwina Harleston Whitlock. The Sweet Hell Inside: A Family History. New York: William Morrow, 2001.

Acquisitions Information

This collection was acquired from the Harleston Fleming Family in 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, July 2014

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, November 2014

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, November 2014

Henry Harleston Fleming Papers AMN 1133
Under Revision
Finding aid prepared by Georgette Mayo
June 2014
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States